Formula One – NEW SEASON. Not just a sport but future road technology.
Two years ago we wrote about the approaching Formula 1 season and we correctly predicted that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton would clinch the titles. The 2017 season starts in a few weeks and this is the first time since 1994 that the previous year’s champion has not defended their title when Alain Prost retired after winning the championship with Williams. This year Formula 1 returns with new rules, wider cars, bigger tyres and reshaped wings. These changes should hopefully inject some of the excitement back into the sport that many feel has been lost. Early testing has shown that these changes will increase downforce to between 15% and 31%. This will in turn increase the speed of some corners taken at 130mph increasing to 150mph.
There could however, be a downside to these changes. Overtaking could be harder and possibly result in processional races and these new speeds will only be beneficial if the drivers can push hard on the tyres that have previously degraded.
Rules on engine development have been relaxed with the ‘token’ system being dropped. Unlimited developments can now be made but only introduced with a new engine and there is still a limit of 4 per driver per season. Will this signal the end of Mercedes dominance?
These changes are from within technology and new innovations are the crux of the sport proving again that Formula 1 is at the forefront of new technology.
Formula 1 isn’t just a sport; it is innovative technology that filters down into our everyday lives through the cars we drive. Stop/start technology, lower emissions, push button ignition, multi-link suspension systems, advances in tyre technology, disc brakes, improved aerodynamics, carbon fibre and rear view mirrors are all advances that came from motor racing.
This high cost sport is a way for car manufacturers to invest in new technology that will benefit us and the planet.
No-one can know for sure which team and driver will win the championship this season and it remains to be seen if these new rules will stop Mercedes. We can be sure that there is great technology and innovation that will soon be in our road cars that will be going up to speeds of 180mph in March.